Nitish Kumar, 66, was sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar on Friday, returning to the National Democratic Alliance after four years. (Photo: PTI)
Patna: The political crisis in Bihar finally came to an end on Friday after the newly-formed Nitish Kumar-led NDA government won the floor test by 131 votes.
Nitish needed just 122 votes in the 243-member assembly to win the trust vote on Friday. As claimed by Kumar earlier, the new government won the floor test easily with their 131 votes intact.
The RJD, which had earlier claimed it has the magic number to form the government, got only 108 votes.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while giving a speech before the trust vote, had said, "I am in power to serve the people and not to earn wealth and those who have come into politics to earn wealth I can’t be of any service to them".
"The Grand Secular Alliance collapsed only due to RJD’s false ego," Kumar said.
Nitish’s fresh stint as the chief minister came 48 hours after he left the Grand Secular Alliance and returned back to the NDA fold. Kumar was sworn in as the chief minister for the sixth time on Thursday.
Four legislators in the 243-member house couldn’t vote, which reduced the strength of the house during the floor test to 239. With the effective strength of 239, Nitish needed only 120 votes to win the floor test on Friday.
Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also did not take part in the voting as both are members of the legislative council.
The 131 votes in favour of Nitish-led NDA government included 70 from the JD (U) besides 53 of BJP, 2 M LAS each from RLSP and LJP, 1 from Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party HAM and 3 independents.
With Nitish returning to NDA and BJP leader Sushil Modi back as deputy chief minister hopes are high that the Centre would release pending funds for Bihar, JD(U) leaders said after the trust vote.
"My only interest lies in serving people of Bihar. It is after a long time that Bihar and the Centre have the same government and I will do everything for the development of the state," Nitish said during the debate.
The RJD and Congress party had created a ruckus and even blocked the entry gate of the state assembly before the floor test.
The RJD and Congress had earlier demanded secret ballot, which was turned down by Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, who instead he opted for the method of lobby division.
RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, who took over as leader of opposition in the state Assembly, blamed Nitish for "betraying the mandate" given by voters during 2015 assembly elections.
"Aren't you ashamed, Voters gave the mandate to the grand secular alliance and not to the NDA. It is a murder of democracy and people of the state will never forget the way you (Nitish Kumar) betrayed them." Tejaswi said while speaking during the debate on Nitish’s trust vote in the state Assembly.
Yadav, while talking to reporters outside the Assembly, said that the party is gearing up to fight a long battle against the communal forces and "since Nitish Kumar has broken Gathbandhan dharma (alliance rules) we will take the matter to the people’s court".
He raised questions on Nitish’s sudden decision to quit the alliance. He said that the whole "resignation drama was scripted by the BJP".
Meanwhile, the Patna High Court on Friday admitted two petitions, challenging the formation of a new government by Nitish and the BJP. RJD sources said one petition was filed by party legislators Saroj Yadav and Chandan Kumar Verma.
They contended that the Friday’s floor test was unconstitutional as the mandate in 2015 was given to the Grand Secular Alliance against the BJP.